Blog

Five Ways to Save Money on Home Cooling this Summer

The recent Star Tribune article about ways to save you money on home cooling maintenance this summer was, to be frank, really bad. We want to make sure our customers…
Read More

Response to Star Tribune Article

The Star Tribune recently posted an article “5 Ways to Save Some Cool Money in June” where they suggested to maintain your air conditioning unit by making appointments through your…
Read More

Put Your Tax Refund Back Into Your Home

Your home is your biggest investment. When we make improvements on our home it makes a positive financial impact for us down the road. Tax refund time is a great…
Read More

How Does the ecobee Smart Home System Work?

Smart home systems are all the rage, but how exactly is the product different than a regular everyday programmable thermostat? An ecobee wireless thermostat is a smart choice. Most thermostats…
Read More

Carbon Monoxide or Gas Leak? What is the Difference?

We are receiving more and more calls from customers who originally called one of our competitors and received the grave news that either their furnace had a “CO (carbon monoxide)…
Read More

How Yearly Boiler Inspection and Maintenance Can Save You Money

When your home is warm and cozy it can be hard to understand why you would need to have your boiler serviced. Just as you would have a car winterized…
Read More

Give the Gift of Heated Flooring This Holiday Season

Nothing is worse than waking up in the morning to ice cold floors. For those with stiff joints, this daily dance can be a tango worth sitting out. There is…
Read More

Top 6 Ways to Lower Your Energy Costs This Winter

Winter is upon us and heating costs are on the rise. Be smart about energy consumption this winter and save yourself some money. Follow these six simple home energy saving…
Read More

Three Reasons to Convert an Oil Burning Furnace or Boiler to Gas

There are many reasons to consider converting your oil burning furnace or boiler to natural gas. Here are three reasons why you should make the switch before the unforgiving Minnesota…
Read More

Salaried vs. Commissioned Technicians: What is best for the customer?

In the world of heating and air-conditioning service, there are two different types of employees – commissioned and salaried. It is often clear when you are dealing with salespeople who…
Read More

Setting your Thermostat to your Priorities… Cost vs. Comfort

Staying comfortable in your home while remaining energy efficient is one of the quintessential offerings of this blog. Oftentimes, cost savings and environmental friendliness are key motivators. Comfort, on the…
Read More

What’s so Smart about a Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats were considered a luxury five years ago. Now, technological advances are increasing energy efficiency (and thus cost savings) so significantly that there is an argument smart thermostats should…
Read More

When is Recharging Refrigerant a Sufficient Fix?

It’s a problem when an air conditioner stops blowing cold air. It’s even worse when it happens this time of year. Perhaps someone has suggested a recharge of the AC…
Read More

5 Questions to Ask When Repairing your Air Conditioner

  Last month, we gave you tips on what questions to ask any HVAC contractor when installing a new HVAC system. The article focused solely on the installation of a…
Read More

5 Questions to Ask When Replacing your Air Conditioner

This is the most important time of year to have your air conditioner operating in peak condition. Acting quickly is crucial whenever the time comes for replacement. On the other…
Read More

What is the Best Temperature Setting while I’m on Vacation?

There is a lot that needs to happen before going on a relaxing summer vacation. Checklist items likely include packing, suspending the mail, and shutting & locking windows, to name…
Read More

Double Check your Fan Direction this Summer!

Fan direction matters. The proper fan direction can make an especially noticeable difference on days with extreme temperatures. This can allow you to raise your thermostat setting, while still remaining…
Read More

7 Steps to Air Conditioner Replacement

Not all HVAC contractors install a new air conditioning system the same way.  There is however, a right way and a wrong way. The right way involves a multi-step process…
Read More

How to Set Thermostat for Optimum Efficiency

Thermostat settings are all about staying comfortable while maximizing energy efficiency. The first step is to properly set a programmable thermostat for your general lifestyle. Next, make a habit out…
Read More

Do I Need a Mid-Summer AC Tune-up?

We’ve preached preventive and regular maintenance on this blog from the beginning. Simply put, it is well worth the small investment of a tune-up in order to avoid large operating…
Read More

Understanding the “Feels Like” Temperature

The temperature on the thermostat doesn’t always match what our bodies perceive it to be. Meteorologists will talk about the “feels like” temperature, which is impacted by relative humidity, dew…
Read More

What is the Ideal Summer Temperature for a Commercial Space?

The temperature in your commercial space matters a lot. Employees depend on a comfortable work environment.  Customers and visitors are more likely to think favorably of your business if a…
Read More

Are High Velocity AC Units Worth it?

As the name suggests, a high velocity AC unit cools rooms more quickly than a conventional AC unit and requires smaller duct work. These features, along with an extra air…
Read More

Four Ways to Benefit from Building Automation

The variety of occupant demands on commercial buildings is unprecedented; and building systems must respond to meet the demands in remarkable ways. For example, schools must maintain a comfortable environment…
Read More

What are the Benefits of Green Buildings?

Most of us already know that “green buildings” are synonymous with environmental friendliness. That means they are less expensive to operate while also being better for our planet. How important…
Read More

What is LEED Certified?

Short for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design, LEED is a building certification that is recognized worldwide and signifies sustainability (environmentally, socially, and economically responsible buildings). Big or small, commercial…
Read More

Evaluating System Trending Data

Evaluating building systems data is akin to monitoring your personal finance budget. In both cases, it is important to accurately collect data on how resources are currently being spent in…
Read More

Choose Owens as Your Commercial HVAC Contractor

Owens is the Twin Cities’ leading commercial mechanical contractor. For renovation, ongoing support, or emergency services -- we offer comprehensive solutions to meet every need. You can count on us for:…
Read More

Immediate Money-Saving Tips for New Homeowners

Spring is the season for sold signs. This year’s fierce real estate market makes this especially true. Once given the keys, new homeowners are understandably eager to make their new…
Read More

How to Keep Cool without Turning on the A/C?

April and May are two of the easiest months to stay comfortable without turning on the air conditioning. Options to keep cool abound, even on warmer days. Lower energy bills…
Read More

A New Home Checklist for the Housing Market Season

The weather isn’t the only thing that heats up in Minnesota every spring. A perennial uptick in the market for real estate and home buying is to be expected around…
Read More

Automatic vs. Manual Pilot Light

Understanding how your HVAC and water heater operate is part of home ownership. One component that varies from system to system is the type of pilot light. Most newer models…
Read More

How Often Should I Have my HVAC Serviced?

Your HVAC plays a critical role in keeping your family comfortable and healthy. It quite literally regulates and cleans the air in your home every single day. Not to mention…
Read More

Wood Fireplaces: Help or Hurt?

Maybe you are a home buyer interested in a property with a wood burning fireplace. Perhaps you are a homeowner finishing up the winter’s supply of firewood with one last…
Read More

4 Home Safety Checks before Leaving on Vacation

Nothing is better than a well-deserved vacation after five-plus months of snow and cold. On the flip-side, a broken pipe or a fried appliance isn’t the kind of welcome you…
Read More

How Plants Can Improve your Health

The Earth’s plants, trees, and foliage naturally fight human induced pollution. They do so by absorbing harmful gasses from the air and literally transforming them into purified air. On a…
Read More

How Well do Air Purifiers Work in the Winter?

It is an all-too-common mistake. Many allergy sufferers put away their air purifiers between the fall ragweed and spring pollens. In reality, winter may be the single best season to…
Read More

How To Keep Indoor Air Clean in Winter

Most of us don’t regularly consider the air quality in our home, but we should. Indoor air pollution has actually been ranked as one of the top five environmental risks…
Read More

Is Your House Making You Sick?

“Sick House Syndrome” is real. If your home has chronically poor indoor air quality it can literally be the reason you keep getting sick, and the reason you can’t get…
Read More

How to be Ready for the “Storm of the Century”

A powerful blizzard of ice, sleet, and up to 20 inches of snow recently blasted the east coast from Georgia to Massachusetts. 60 million Americans were affected. Hundreds of thousands…
Read More

Owens Companies Gives Back

Happy New Year! Everyone wins when the community is made stronger. We believe, for that reason alone, that everyone has a role to play. Schools, religious institutions, governmental organizations, and…
Read More

Should I Add Insulation to My Exterior Walls?

Several factors impact your heating bill each month, yet perhaps the most long-term improvement you can make is to add additional insulation where needed. Many older homes (and some newer…
Read More

How Do I Know If My Thermostat is Working?

Fixing or replacing a thermostat is always going to be easier and less expensive than fixing or replacing your furnace. Therefore, it's always a good idea to test that your…
Read More

Homeowners Insurance and My HVAC – What You Should Know

The whole purpose of homeowners insurance is to make families financially whole again after a significant loss. Being covered for incidences like theft and hail storms is standard, but what…
Read More

3 Ventilation Problems to Check Before Winter

Proper ventilation is absolutely critical to your safety. We'll start by saying that this article is not a do-it-yourself guide, but rather meant to educate homeowners on serious ventilation problems…
Read More

Thinking About Installing Central Air? First Know What’s Involved.

A central AC system is more and more the norm in today’s homes. It offers quiet and efficient cooling of your entire house and is easily controlled at the thermostat.…
Read More

Residential Solar Energy — What’s The Deal?

Gaining more and more headlines is solar energy and its applications for residential use. Not meant to be overly comprehensive or technical, this post gives you a brief glimpse into…
Read More

How Efficient is Your AC Unit?

Higher efficiency air conditioning units are better for the environment and will cut down your energy bill each month. For those reasons and more, every homeowner should understand how efficient…
Read More

Maximize Efficiency by Maximizing Air Flow

Efficiency with your AC unit means you're saving money and doing your part for the environment. The better air flows through your system, the more efficient it will be. These…
Read More

Gearing Up for the Battle Against Spring Allergens

Hint: Your HVAC filter matters Springtime. The weather has turned, the grass is green, and... allergen riddled pollen fills the air, making 58 million Americans seasonally miserable! You can't control…
Read More

In the News – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Local news outlets tragically reported on 2 adult deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home earlier this month. This story is unfortunately repeated on the news every winter in…
Read More

How to Adjust your Thermostat in the Winter for Maximum Efficiency

It is one of the simplest and wisest investments for any household. Yet only 30% of households in America own a programmable thermostat, and only a fraction of those that…
Read More

Brrr! 3 Things To Do When Your Heat Goes Out  

Check for quick fixes -- Your broken furnace may not actually be broken. An easy fix could save you a service call! Insure the thermostat, shutoff switch, and breakers are properly…
Read More

Wi-Fi Thermostats Perfect for Winter

We've written about the benefits of smart thermostats in past posts. In this post, we dive deeper into the ever-evolving world of Wi-Fi-thermostats. Winter brings even more reasons to go Wi-fi.…
Read More

Wireless Thermostats to Quadruple by 2017

Baby Boomers.....Don't get left behind in the technology boon! It's easy to be intimidated. How many remote controls do you need for the operation of ONE of your flatscreens? Are…
Read More

Furnace blowing cold air? Boiler making weird sounds? Ice Dam Leaks? Who can I trust to call?

In the past, whenever I needed work done on our home, I asked friends who they had used. Sometimes this served me well, other times it ended up, well, not…
Read More

Turn down the heat in our homes to 60? On the coldest days ever? REALLY!

  Of course a Canadian Pipeline would burst on the eve of possibly the coldest day ever in Minnesota. Here is the link from the Star Tribune. http://www.startribune.com/local/242004631.html Here are…
Read More

Energy Bills double during the Polar Vortex…You can Still be Energy Efficient

Another POLAR VORTEX? Stop! I've lived in Minnesota my whole life, and we NEVER had a Polar Vortex before this year! How is your home doing? Furnace still working? There…
Read More

Carbon Monoxide Detection— Message from John Owens

Hearing about  illnesses and even worse due to carbon monoxide poisoning is just heartbreaking. It is the silent killer. What many homeowners may not know, is that carbon monoxide detectors…
Read More

Saving Energy with Efficient Light Bulbs…..Changes in 2014!

January 1st, 2014 is the deadline to end production of the 40 watt and 60 watt incandescent light bulb as part of the final phase-out stage of the Energy Independence and…
Read More

Owens Companies celebrates 30 years in the Minnesota Keystone Program

Owens Companies is proud to celebrate 30 years in the Minnesota Keystone Program. An important part of our mission is to give back to our community. The Minnesota Keystone program…
Read More

Save Money and Energy: make sure your Heating System is working efficiently!

Nobody wants to think about a heating system when we still hope for warm and sunny days outside, but winter in Minnesota is always looming, and servicing a heating system now will…
Read More

Fact or fiction? Turning the thermostat up or down several degrees will heat or cool your home faster.

The facts: Thermostats are simple temperature regulators.  All they do is tell your heating or cooling system when to turn on or off once the room reaches a specific temperature. …
Read More

Three Tips to help you keep your Heater Happy and Working Efficiently

Schedule a maintenance call before the snow falls! As soon as the air conditioning season ends, contact a service technician to give your furnace or boiler a check up. Maintenance…
Read More

The Five Biggest Myths About Saving Energy in the Summer

Myth: Cranking the thermostat lower will make the house cool faster. Usually not. Trane and Lennox make some nice variable speed air handlers, which can adjust their output to match…
Read More

Become an Owens Companies Preferred Customer, and we will do all of this for you!

Maintenance Checklist Maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups. Contractors…
Read More

Thinking about Condensing Boilers! Read Paul’s review!

Current Condensing Boilers on Review Let me start off by saying all condensing boilers have their issues. I have had on occasion seen installations that have gone flawless without incident. …
Read More

Regional Furnace Standards

Just announced, the Department of Energy will not enforce the Regional Furnace Standards that would have required home owners install non condensing residential gas furnaces of at least 90% AFUE…
Read More

Xcel Energy Efficiency Partner for 2012

Proud to be recognized as an Energy Efficiency Partner for 2012, recognizing our efforts to help the environment by implementing and promoting energy-efficiency improvements.
Read More

Air-Conditioning in Hot Weather

With our extreme heat, it is critically important that air-conditioning systems are clean. This means the filter in the furnace and the condensing unit outside. Homeowners can hose down the…
Read More